New bridge and a tonal adjustment

Edited: October 22, 2019, 10:09 AM · Hi all,

I’m thinking about having my viola tonally adjusted, new season and being a newer instrument I feel it could help a bit with it’s general sound etc. However, I was also thinking about a new bridge. The viola came with what I can only assume is a bog standard bridge, there is certainly nothing special about it, and I understand that higher quality bridges help to produce a better sound?
Is this the case? What is your experience with bridges, perhaps you prefer a particular brand such as Despiau or Teller?

Thanks!

Replies (5)

Edited: October 22, 2019, 11:21 AM · Before attempting any tonal adjustment, especially this time of year when temperature and humidity change significantly, you should ensure that your instrument is being kept in a stable controlled environment first and foremost. This is especially true if you also contemplate a new or adjustment to the sound post, which may be recommended as part of a full tonal adjustment. Puting a new/adjusting sound post when the instrument is dry, can result in overtension when humidity goes up again, and lead to a crack in your top plate. Your instrument should always be kept at 50-55RH humidity plus or minus a few degrees, if this is not the case then adjusting/changing bridge, end tail and/or sound post may be a futile exercise.
October 22, 2019, 4:52 PM · Who cuts the bridge is infinitely more important for tone than the brand, IMO. A cheapo bridge might be more likely to warp, though.
October 22, 2019, 4:55 PM · Hi Roger - I’ll make a point of checking the humidity levels. If the viola isn’t being played, it lives in its case, seemingly the safest place for it! The case doesn’t have a hydrometer though.

Hi Don - I’m very fond of the set up my local luthier does, he did a lovely job with my violin earlier in the year, so I’m happy to go to him again. He’s very skilled!

October 23, 2019, 10:27 AM · It's that time of year--to be aware of humidity changes. Here is everything you need to know:

http://www.burgessviolins.com/humidity.html

October 24, 2019, 3:48 AM · Hi Erin - thanks for sharing that, a good and very helpful read!


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